One of the three items I’m making for the By the Sea challenge is the lace evening dress inspired by the glowing hills and muted sea at sunset in New Zealand.
The dress had a pressing deadline: I had a wedding to attend, and needed a frock to wear. The wedding is past, the dress got made (in a massive rush, and only thanks to some help from the lovely Lynne), and worn, and I got lots of compliments on it.
…I’m not quite happy with it.
Here is what it looked like at the wedding.
I ended up wearing it with a stunning early 20th century black feather boa (a gift from the wonderful Lynne) instead of the Capelet of Yay, because the Capelet paired with the dress was just a little too striking for the wedding, and the boa was sooooooo gorgeous and looked perfect with the dress.
I felt great in the dress, it was really comfortable, it worked well for the wedding, and I got tons of compliments.
…looking back at the photos I don’t love it.
It just feels very, very straight up and down, and I look a bit thick, and the proportions are off in front (I love the back).
What do you think? I’m trying to figure out how to fix it. Perhaps I should go back to my inspiration image, and add a upside down V under the bust, and a bit more width and volume around the bust, to balance my figure.
I’m also torn about the way I finished the neckline. At the moment, I have it faced with the same fabric as my belt and slip, to tie that in. I like the crispness of the line – the way it contrasts with the softer lace.
But perhaps I should have used more traditional lace finishing techniques, where you use the built-in edge scallops, and laces brilliant ability to piece, to hide and blend the edges, like I did with the hem?
And what about the skirt-to-bodice join? I originally chose lapped joins, with no lace blending, or highlighting of the seams, because that is the most common technique seen on 1930s lace dresses.
However, now that it’s done, I’m not sure I love the lapped join. It refused to be nicely symmetrical in front because the lace is slightly thicker or thinner in spots. And it’s just showy enough to be noticeable, without being a feature. I could either use lace blending (still an option at this point because of the way I cut it), or could highlight the join in the same way I made a feature of the sleeve and neck binding.
At least I am totally happy with the belt!
Isn’t the buckle gorgeous? It’s a vintage piece from Three Buckets Full which I rushed off to find the day before I left for the wedding. I’m so lucky they had something perfect!
Back to the dress as a whole. Gah! I’m so confused! So many options and things to think about. So what do you think? How could I make the dress work better?
While we think about it, the dress is off at the dry cleaners, having bits of lawn and lipstick and makeup removed.